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Microbiologia. 1996 Mar;12(1):9-16.

Origins and evolution of antibiotic resistance.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


The massive prescription of antibiotics and their non-regulated and extensive usage has resulted in the development of extensive antibiotic resistance in microorganisms; this has been of great clinical significance. Antibiotic resistance occurs not only by mutation of microbial genes which code for antibiotic uptake into cells or the binding sites for antibiotics, but mostly by the acquisition of heterologous resistance genes from external sources. The physical characteristics of the microbial community play a major role in gene exchange, but antimicrobial agents provide the selective pressure for the development of resistance and promote the transfer of resistance genes among bacteria. The control of antibiotic usage is essential to prevent the development of resistance to new antibiotics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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